KINGWOOD, Texas -- A popular Kingwood Park High former social studies teacher and football coach has been charged with having an inappropriate relationship with a student.
Zachary Harlan, 35, resigned from the school back in November 2013. That s when the accusations surfaced, and he was placed on administrative leave.
Parents had received a letter informing them about the accusations against Harlan.
Harlan has been arrested more than two months later and is now officially charged with the crime.
He s innocent until proven guilty, said parent Amy Hogan. It doesn t change my stance until I hear everything. I don t know what to think.
Parents and students have been defending Harlan since the allegations surfaced.
Harlan is accused of having sex with a 17-year-old senior girl back in October 2013.
Documents describe an on-going relationship that began with flirtatious emails and conversations. Harlan reportedly admitted to the school s principal that it escalated into something inappropriate.
Prosecutors say Harlan told the principal in a written statement:
I allowed her to become attached to me on a personal level, and I allowed myself to do the same...And I even met her off campus. Our roles began to change as I began to take on a caregiver role, and she began to rely on me more.
It went on to say:
At times my relationship with [ ] got carried away, and I allowed it to go too far.
Documents also detail e-mails between the former teacher and student. Some of the information is too graphic to publish or air on TV.
In one e-mail, the girl wrote, in part:
I guess I m not used to a guy telling me that we should play the safe route. I don t want our relationship to run short either.
According to documents, Harlan replied, in part:
Well, I play the safe route because I m not in it to just get mine and move on. Trust me, I want to do a lot of things, but it s important to me that we continue to have these opportunities.
Harlan s neighbors say, from the outside, he appeared to be a happily married man raising young children. However, they also acknowledge that times have changed.
I can t say I m completely surprised in this day and age. Things happen, not saying it s right, said neighbor Mark Weldon.
Harlan is now charged with felony improper relationship with a student. He was released from jail on a $10,000 bond.